I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another Arpaio Protester Aquitted!

Arpaio foe arrested after meeting acquitted

by Amy B Wang

Aug. 11, 2009 06:40 PM
The Arizona Republic

Randy Parraz, an organizer with a group that regularly protests the policies of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, was acquitted Tuesday in Maricopa County Justice Court of disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing.

The charges stemmed from a Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meeting on September 29, 2008. At the public meeting, protesters with Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability interrupted and held up anti-Arpaio signs. Parraz and others were told by deputies to leave the building because of their conduct. Parraz then stationed himself outside the supervisors' auditorium in an area cordoned off with yellow tape.

The two-day trial, delayed for nearly a year, centered on extensive review of video clips from the meeting and its aftermath. The prosecution charged that Parraz was uncooperative, that his interjections at the meeting were intended to "prevent the transaction of business" and that his refusal to move from the entrance area afterward posed a safety hazard.

The defense claimed that Parraz's six-second interruption was not "protracted" enough to qualify as disorderly conduct. His attorneys also argued that Parraz left the meeting in a cooperative manner and that he was within his rights to remain on public property outside the auditorium.

Justice Armando Gandarilla ruled in favor of the defense, stating that Parraz was exercising his First Amendment rights.

"Politicians and constituents have agreed to disagree," Gandarilla said in his ruling. "It's a sad state of affairs when people who are passionate cannot express their point of view."

Gandarilla added that if there were no grounds for disorderly conduct, then there also were no grounds for criminal trespassing.

Parraz, who also is an attorney, said he was relieved at the conclusion of what had been nearly a year-long process.

"I feel exonerated," Parraz said. "We're not there to disrupt. We're there to get on the agenda."

No comments:

Post a Comment